John Ndungu: Man who violently attacked a woman in her north Dublin home is sentenced to a year in prison

John Ndungu (42), of Boyne View, Johnston, Co. Meath, appeared before Judge Martina Baxter at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today.

He pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman at her home in Balbriggan on June 21, 2020.

Garda Keith Coleman said he was on mobile patrol with a colleague at around 7.30pm on the night in question when he was called to the woman’s address.

The court heard that Ndungu had called the woman the day before and told her he was outside her house. On the phone, the woman thought he sounded drunk and didn’t want him to drive home, so she let him stay the night.

The next morning, Ndungu started drinking whiskey from 10am.

The woman and Ndungu went to buy groceries and returned around 2.30pm when they started drinking together.

Garda Coleman told the court that the injured party had spoken to family members on the phone that evening. After one of these calls, a verbal argument broke out between her and Ndungu.

The woman told gardaí that Ndungu was very drunk at the time. She asked him to leave but he refused and there was a shouting match.

Ndungu then grabbed her in a chokehold, pulled her onto the couch and punched her four times with his clenched fist.

The court heard the woman knew she had to defend herself when she saw blood on the couch. She elbowed Ndungu in the genital area and tried unsuccessfully to get to her phone.

The woman began throwing objects at Ndungu and he grabbed her again in a chokehold and hit her twice more. The victim saw one of her teeth fall out.

She called for help and managed to escape Ndungu’s grasp. When she reached the hallway, she picked up the phone. The woman told Ndungu she would call the gardaí and he left the house.

John Ndungu

When gardaí arrived, an ambulance was called and the woman was taken to Beaumont Hospital for a check-up.

The scan revealed she had lost two teeth and broken both her eye socket and cheekbone. Subsequent dental treatment resulted in the loss of a third tooth, which was loose following the attack. The cost of treating her injuries was around €4,000.

Ngundu was arrested by gardaí on June 29, 2020. During the interview, he denied attacking the woman and said he was horrified when he heard what happened. He initially gave a different version of what happened, but this account turned out to be incorrect.

Ngundu pleaded guilty to the charge at his trial date last May.

In a victim impact statement read out today, the woman thanked the judge for giving her the opportunity to speak out.

Then she turned to Ndungu: “You have been my close friend for a long time, but I did not know that you were a wolf among sheep.”

She told the court that Ndungu “brought fear into a life where there never was any” and that his actions “were physical, but they also left me emotionally scarred.”

The woman said: “I am here now and can face you, but back then you were a shadow in the day and night” who brought “fear, distrust and isolation” into her life.

Both parties were part of a Kenyan community in the country. The injured party said Ngundu made her a liar to her family and friends but he “chose the wrong continent to practice stupid masculinity”.

Judge Baxter thanked the woman for her testimony and said: “You are a very brave woman and thank you for coming today.”

Patrick Jackson BL, defending, said Ngundu had apologized for his actions and “knows he is completely wrong”.

He said Ngundu was at low risk of re-offending and that “this offending was completely out of character compared to his history”.

Ngundu has been convicted eight times for traffic offenses and public order offences.

In sentencing, Judge Baxter said the aggravating factors were that the attack had taken place in the injured party’s home, that she had offered Ndungu accommodation and support, that they had been friends for almost twenty years and that “there was no sympathy”.

She said the mitigating factors were that Ndungu had pleaded guilty, albeit at a late stage, that he had not been convicted of similar offenses and that he had a professional history.

Judge Baxter imposed a prison sentence of thirty months, with the remaining eighteen months suspended on condition that Ngundu was of good behavior and reported to the probation service upon his release.


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